Ulah Bistro, located a stone’s throw away from the U Street Metro and across the street from DC’s infamous Ben’s Chili Bowl, is another one of the Lalou Group’s restaurants. (Sister to Lupo Verde and Station 4.) Labeled as a modern American cuisine restaurant, we were a bit confused by the decor when we first walked in. With some elements of a quaint French or Italian restaurant, both in the ambiance of the space and the menu, Ulah is a place where even the pickiest of eaters can find something they like.
Knowing Ulah recently added new cocktail options to the drink menu, and the desire to start Saturday off on the right foot, we started with the Napoleon Bonaparte (vodka, DCF mandarin, aperol, pineapple bitters) and the Champs-Elysees (mandarin vodka, DCF hibiscus, lime juice, cranberry juice, orange bitters). Before calling brunch quits and finishing off with a round a mimosas, we also requested to try the new La Kasbah (tequila, mezcal, DFC mandarin, lemon juice, grapefruit bitters), and the Ulah Peartini (Grey Goose Pear, simple syrup, apple juice.) While we appreciated the strength of our first round of drinks, the second round was even stronger and we agreed a bit much. Don’t raise your eyebrows. We can’t believe we said that either.
The brunch menu was quite extensive – 6 food categories plus brunch drinks – so we ordered a variety from across the menu. To fulfill our eggs benedict craving we first tried the Nova Scotia (two poached eggs, smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce). We would have liked our egg to be a bit runnier (as in not nearly hard-boiled) however, one can never truly go wrong with an eggs benedict, especially if you have Ulah’s wonderful garlic roasted potatoes to dip into the hollandaise sauce.
We moved over to the Crab & Brie Omelet, with slightly seasoned lump crabmeat and brie cheese. The omelet itself was fluffy, quite sizable, and would fill even the most bottomless of stomachs with its generous portion of crab meat. The flavor was unique, however we were left wondering if we could have had just a little more cheese. (Please!)
As we were devouring our food and drinks, we also sampled the Fruit & Cheese Plate. Beautifully arranged, with a good selection of cheeses, breads, and fruits, this is definitely something we could see people sharing as they sip on mimosas. The duo of spreads served along with the board were the perfect accompaniment.
We decided that since we had fully satisfied our egg craving it was time to switch over to something a little more savory, and ordered the Smoked Gouda Mac N’ Cheese (aged smoked Gouda, Pecorino Romano cheese, orecchiette pasta, bacon). It was hard not to fight over who would have the last cheese covered noodle. Perfectly cooked and not overly cloying with cheese, it was served alongside a sweet homemade cornbread. Just writing about it now makes us slightly drool…yum…mac n’ cheese…
Woah, where were we? Ah yes, last but not least, we buckled down and ordered the recommended Challah French Toast. A sight to behold, this dish comprised of honey mascarpone, raspberry coulis, powdered sugar, and a side of maple syrup, all on top of fluffy beautiful slices of French Toast. Sweet toothed humans, beware! This was hands down our favorite at Ulah Bistro, and our friendly waitress informed us that it is one of their most popular dishes. As we were licking the bottom of the plate, we wondered if the French Toast was any inclination of Ulah’s other sweet brunch options. (We’re looking at you, Nutella Croissant). Unfortunately, they had run out of the croissants, and we did not have any more room in our stomachs to put our questions to rest.
In a wrap, if you have a lot of people in town and are looking for a fun place to sit, drink, and be merry, then head over to Ulah Bistro. You will be in a prime part of DC with good food and drinks that doesn’t pack a punch to your wallet.
1214 U Steet NW
Washington DC 20009
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